Ignoring my thousand-toothed stress monster, I decided to let the girls have their first sleepover. Today I’m here to pick them up. I have put on makeup and straightened my hair for the first time in months. Because their friend’s mother looks like Shakira.
‘Hello! Good morning!’ she says when she answers the door. She takes my face in her hands, kisses my cheeks and ushers me into the apartment. Her hair is a magnificent halo of curls and she’s the only human left on earth that looks cute in UGGs. I try to remember if I’ve put on deodorant.
‘Would you like some coffee?’ she asks, though she’s already taken my baby and replaced him with a steaming mug. I nod, overwhelmed by her brazilian-ness. She doesn’t wait for my answer, just slides on a rainbow into the bathroom where the girls are playing. I follow her, stealing a look at her perfect ass.
But then I stop at the bathroom threshold and gasp. And count to ten. If I don’t, my brain will implode. When she turns to sing a portuguese command at her husband in the kitchen, she notices my jaw on the floor.
‘Arr ju okay?’ she says, placing a barrette in her daughter’s hair, turning off the bath tub faucet and clearing the sink concurrently, all while holding my baby.
‘What have you done to her hair?’ I whisper, pointing a shaking finger at my eldest.
Her fingers comb through Mila’s hair and make it out intact. I have to hold myself up on the doorframe.
Mila’s hair is heaven’s perfection. Threaded with G-d’s gold, emblazoned with angel glamour. She looks at my reflection in the mirror and I stumble backward, shielding my eyes.
‘Why won’t you ever let me brush your hair, my love?’ I hear myself say through six feet of I-used-to-love-my-mommy-the-best dirt.
The devil is alive and well, my friends, because of the look in Mila’s eye when she shuts out the sun with this next sentence:
‘Because she does everything better, Mommy. I want to live here.’